After leaving Chicago in 1985, Peter Cetera (one of the band's founding members) quickly found success as a solo artist. You Just Gotta Love Christmas featured several Cetera-penned songs in amongst traditional holiday tunes. Cetera's daughter, Claire provides some of the vocals and his daughter, Senna was responsible for some of the album art.
The songs are traditional and, for the most part, so are the arrangements (which isn't surprising, given REO Speedwagon's history of power ballads and orchestral accompaniment.) After 42 years and two dozen albums (with non-traditional titles like You Can Tune A Piano But You Can't Tuna Fish and The Earth, A Small Man, His Dog and A Chicken) the band released its first Christmas album in 2009. The songs are familiar, but the band imprints them with their own style.
Steve Lukather gives new meaning to the concept of Christmas music for strings on SantaMental. This 10-track compilation also features Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Steve Vai, and Edgar Winter lending their rock guitar virtuosity -- and on some tracks, their voices -- to traditional Christmas carols.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra is best experienced in live concert performance, but a good sound system is the next-best way to enjoy TSO's BIG orchestral rock sound. Although not exclusively a Christmas music band, most of their touring and recording center on holiday music. My favorite of their three holiday albums is their first, Christmas Eve and Other Stories, released in 1996 and subsequently a 2x Platinum seller.